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Choosing a Chair

We spend a lot of time sitting at our desks every day. Comfort, quality and appearance of a chair will affect your health and productivity. Choosing an ergonomic office chair that supports your posture can help to prevent back, neck and wrist injuries and maximize your function at work. Seats that are too long for you could make you sit forward, straining your legs and back. Seats that are too close to your knees, on the other hand, can cause circulation problems. Slouching and keeping your shoulders tense can not only cause pinched nerves in your shoulders, but even hurt your wrists!

Seating requirements at work vary dependent upon tasks and individual uses. To find the right ergonomic chair, you will need to know the various characteristics of the chair and how it may support your needs.

The choice of chair should be influenced by the tasks that fill most of your working day.

Consider what you will do most in your ergonomic chair. Will you be talking on the phone most of the day? Will you need access to many different things on your desk? Will you be on the computer, sitting still in the same position for long periods of time?

  • Ergonomic Office Chairs - For people who spend most of their time on the computer, telephone etc.
  • Executive Chairs - For those that want the benefits of an ergonomic office chair, with added features and style.
  • Industrial Draughtsman Chairs - Designed for higher worktops such as factories and design offices
  • Heavy Duty Chairs - For use in a variety of specialist contexts. 24 hour Operator chairs
  • Conference Chairs - Improved ergonomics in a variety of contexts such as meetings

 

Features of an Ergonomic Chair

Seat Height

should be adjustable. An ergonomic chair should allow for adjustment in height to allow you to sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90 degree angle and parallel to your hips. Some ergonomic chairs have a tilt and or seat slide feature in their seat to allow for reclined sitting and adjusting the distance between the back rest and the front of the seat to allow for different users leg length.

Back

The backrest on an ergonomic chair should support the natural curve of your spine, providing support in the lower back. It should be high enough to support your shoulder and neck region, while allowing for flex and movement for reaching activities when you are sitting. Some ergonomic chairs have a tilt feature in their back rest to allow for reclined sitting, which is when the hip to back angle is greater than 90 degrees.

All backrests should provide adequate lumbar support and buttocks clearance. For tasks requiring upper body mobility, the backrest should provide adequate back support, but not interfere with the user's movement. Typically these backs should not be higher than the bottom of the user's shoulder blades. For users who prefer reclining postures, or more upper back support, the back height should provide support for the shoulder blades

Armrest

Armrests can support your arms so that your shoulders rest at a comfortable position when you are working. This is an important feature if you are typing at the computer for a large portion of your day. Armrests should be adjustable in height and position to accommodate different users and activities. They should keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees.

Seat

An ergonomic chair should provide comfortable support to your hips and buttocks and the seat depth should measure from your back to 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) from the back of your knees.

Headrest

A headrest allows your head to be supported when you are sitting in a reclined position in your chair. This is a useful feature if you spend more time sitting in a reclined position for talking on the phone than typing at your desk.

Movement and adjustment is the key

Your body is not a stationary vehicle - it is designed to move. So much so that your body has a built-in warning system that encourages you to move and change position. Pain and discomfort are early warnings from your body to change your current postural habits to ones that reduce the pain and discomfort. Ignore the warnings and the consequences can be severe and long lasting.

The good news is that you can change your habits and re-educate your body. The ergonomic chairs we have selected will help and encourage you to achieve this posture more naturally, making it easy to sustains supported correct posture and active movement

Go to our Seating section   or download our PDF information sheet